The British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) has just released its ringing data for 2020 so we have been able to compare the numbers for Marden with the rest of the British Isles. (It’s important to note the figures for Marden also reflect the degree of effort put in by our ringers. However, they also indicate what is being achieved by some local farmers).

England has lost 66% of its red-listed yellowhammers in the last 50 years, but they can still be found in good numbers in Marden. In 2020 (albeit affected by Covid restrictions) 211 were ringed here. That was: 3% of yellowhammers ringed in the whole of Great Britain and Eire, 6% of England’s, and 69% of Kent’s totals.

As yellowhammers rarely move more than 5-10km from where they were hatched, local farmers’ management of hedgerows and field boundaries (where they nest) and the provision of winter food is clearly helping this species thrive here. Keep your eyes open for them!